Person of the Decade #9

February 6, 2015

La MaMa is the 9th Person of the Decade in the Indie Theater Hall of Fame.

Like the other honorees, La MaMa has been a key artistic force within the indie theater movement in NYC for the past ten years.

Unlike the others, La MaMa has been a key artistic force in NYC for more than FIVE DECADES. This remarkable East Village institution celebrated its 50th anniversary not long ago, but despite its age it remains vital, vibrant, innovative, cutting-edge, and continually pushing the envelope in terms of bringing the newest theater to audiences. That many of the folks who cross La MaMa's threshold these days weren't even born when Ellen Stewart began this company in the early '60s only reminds us of the uniqueness of this very special theater.

I was honored to be interviewed on the occasion of La MaMa's 50th birthday about why they matter so much to the indie theater community.

There's always something--lots of things--happening at La MaMa! Coming to the Ellen Stewart Theatre next week is Theatre Askew and Trav S.D.'s HORSEPLAY (February 13, 2015 - March 01, 2015). Tim Cusack, artistic director of Askew, and Trav S.D. are Hall of Famers too--La MaMa continually attracts artists of the highest caliber to collaborate with them.

After that: Judgement on a Gray Beach: March 06, 2015 - March 15, 2015 and The New Zealand Performance Festival: March 12, 2015 - March 29, 2015.

The La MaMa family--of which I am proud to count myself a member, at least of the extended variety--is headed by Mia Yoo, Artistic Director; Mary Fulham, Managing Director; and Beverly Petty, Producing Director. These ladies continue to move their company forward in the direction charted out by Ellen Stewart. Join me in congratulating them and all of the folks who make La MaMa tick.

Next week we announce the final Person of the Decade. Who will it be?

[Note: When NYTE launched the Hall of Fame last month, we asked all of the inductees to vote for those members who, in their view, had made the most significant and outstanding contributions to the NYC indie theater scene during the past ten years. We think that this is a particularly meaningful recognition because it is bestowed upon these individuals and companies by their peers. We're announcing the 10 honorees weekly, one each Friday from now until February 13th. Announced so far: John Clancy and Nancy Walsh, Flux Theatre Ensemble, Vampire Cowboys, Kristin Marting, Mac Rogers, Elena K. Holy, Daniel Talbott, and The Brick.]





Loco7's "Undefined Fraction" at La MaMa
I got to pay a visit to one of my all-time favorite indie theaters, La MaMa E.T.C., for a performance of Undefined Fraction, which is part of the company's 2015 Puppet Series. This blend of edgy puppetry, physical theater, and dance is an exemplar of the kind of meditative hybrid installation/happening/drama that has been a mainstay of this East Village institution for decades.
Trav S.D.'s Great Vaudeville History
A look back at Trav S.D.'s book on vaudeville, published 10 years ago this month.
United Solo 2014: Done; United Solo 2015: Starting Now!
ITN's United Solo 2014 play collection is now complete; and our first 2015 play--LOUISE IN CHARLESTOWN by Penny Jackson--is available as well.